From its first year of publication, GH has urged readers to live healthfully
— to take "a walk before breakfast" (1885), "eat more fish" (1932), and get "at
least eight hours of sleep" (1933). The tips here, whether from our early days
or fresh from the latest journals, have one thing in common: They are based on
the best expertise of their time.
Boost calcium and vitamin D. That means three to four 8-ounce servings of low-fat dairy every day. If you are lactose-intolerant, eat hard cheese, yogurt, or kefir; canned salmon; broccoli; and legumes. You can also try food or drinks, like orange juice, that have the nutrients added in by the manufacturer. They'll say "fortified" on the label.
If your doctor says you don't get enough calcium in your diet, he may suggest you take supplements that have 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of the nutrient.
Eat more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes. These will give you plenty of disease-fighting antioxidants. Focus on variety every day, including vegetables with different colors.
Get enough fiber. You don't have to look far. Some good sources are:
Whole wheat pasta
Whole-grain cereals and breads
Fresh fruits and veggies
Take a daily multivitamin. It will fill any gaps in your nutrition picture. But make sure it's tailored for your age group. When you're over 50, you need less iron than younger women.
Eat lean proteins. Try foods such as skinless chicken, fatty fish like salmon (with omega-3 fats), and vegetable protein, including soy.
Enjoy a vegetarian meal a few times a week. Plant-based diets have lots of advantages. They're low in calories but rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Cut down on salt. Too much salt is linked to high blood pressure. The recently-published 2015 Dietary Guidelines once again remind everyone to limit salt to 2,300 milligrams a day.
Choose fats wisely. Avoid trans and saturated fats. They're often hidden in things like:
"Good fats" can be found in olive oil, and some, but not all, vegetable oils like canola, as well as food like:
Nuts and seeds
Cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna
Curb the sweets. Limit sugary drinks and deserts and sweetened dairy products. They can be loaded with calories and have little nutrition.